Go rogue: Top unofficial events during 2015 South Beach Wine & Food Festival

In less than a week the food-palooza known as South Beach Wine & Food Festival will be upon us. Lucky you if you scored tickets to some of the celeb-chef-studded events. But if you’re ticket-less fret not, because we’ve compiled a list of the best off-festival events happening around the city. Read on for details on these happenings — some are even free!

Tuesday, Feb. 17

The Genuine Hospitality Group is getting Miami’s big week of wine and food off to a spirited start with The Wine Room, an unofficial festival event popping up at Michael Schwartz’s The Cypress Room. The six-course tasting menu with pairings also includes a welcome cocktail and hors d’oeurves reception. 

Where: The Cypress Room, Miami.

RSVP: tickets here.

Cost: $240/person.


Wednesday, Feb. 18

Haute Dining hosts a two-pronged event called Five Cubed consisting of a five-course sit-down dinner at 6 p.m. by chefs Sean Brasel, Johnny Sheehan, Alex Chang, Adrianne Calvo and Brad Kilgore. Cuisine will be paired with select Brewery Ommegang beer. At 8 p.m., General Admission guests will participate in a walk-around tasting where other chefs will unveil 15 dishes.

Where: 1111 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach.

RSVP: tickets here.

Cost: $75-$275/person.


Thursday, Feb. 19

Grab a craft beer at the Loews Miami Beach’s Hemipshere Lounge (1601 Collins Ave.), which will have 10 Funky Buddha brews on draft through Sunday, including the limited-release Maple Bacon Coffee Porter and Last Snow Coconut Coffee Porter as well as the Loews exclusive Mojito Blonde Ale, brewed with lime and mint. Flights of four beers are $15. 



Bummed that you’re missing the sold-out Israeli dinner featured in the festival? Instead try The Surfcomber, which is flying in Top Chef star and DC chef Mike Isabella for an al fresco lamb roast that includes seafood, fresh-baked pita and endless cocktails.

Where: The Pasture at The Surfcomber, Miami Beach.

RSVP: tickets here.

Cost: $100/person (Make sure to enter MIAMICOM in the promo code section to purchase two tickets for $175.)


Friday, Feb 20

Second Annual Kitchen Collab Brunch with Robert Irvine: After a successful first year collaboration, DeRosa and Robert Irvine, star of Food Network’s Restaurant: Impossible, will be teaming up again this year. From 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., a special 3-course brunch will be served at Tongue &Cheek and guests will receive a signed copy of Irvine’s new book, Impossible to Easy

Where: Tongue & Cheek

RSVP: 305.704.2900

Cost: $75pp


Saturday, Feb. 21

Tacos at Daybreak: James Beard-nominated chef Jose Mendin (Pubbelly) teams up with Smithfield to help food-lovers rise and recoup with a free taco event, 9:30-11:30 a.m. at the Loews Miami Beach pool and will feature breakfast tacos and specialty cocktails. Open to the public with RSVP.

Where: Loews Miami Beach


Cost: Free.

For The Love of Ham: Chef Juliana Gonzalez invites Igor Corral, the ham carving champion of Spain, to Barceloneta to a special ham seminar and tasting. Guests who attend the 1-3pm seminar, will learn about the history of ham, ham carving techniques and share recipes.

Where: Barceloneta, Miami Beach

RSVP: (305) 538-9299

Cost: $115

101 Gay Weddings: With the official beginning of gay marriage in the state of Florida, celebrated chef Art Smith held a social media contest to marry 101 gay couples. The group ceremony goes down at the James Royal Palm. Expect cocktails, desserts and lots of happiness.

Where: The James Royal Palm, Miami Beach.

RSVP: info here.

Cost: Free to wedding couples and two members of their family.

Eats & Beats: Head over the bridge to the Design District for this DJ-fueled party where dozens of restaurants and liquor sponsors will be doling out bites and…well, beats.

Where: Moore Building, Miami.

RSVP: tickets here.

Cost: $99-$250/person.

Caribbean-inspired al fresco bar The Rum Line will welcome Manhattan tavern NoMad Bar to Miami for a guest bartender takeover on Saturday, February 21 and Sunday, February 22, 2015. The series kicks off on Saturday, 2/21 from 8PM to 2AM with the Nomadic Tiki Takeover, a luau with live entertainment and a Polynesian roast. For two-days only, cocktail enthusiasts can indulge in island-inspired libations by award-winning Bar Directors Leo Robitschek of the NoMad Bar and Rob Ferrara of The Rum Line. On Sunday, 2/22 the party continues as the star bartenders showcase a menu of large format cocktails. Guests can enjoy hand-rolled cigars on The Rum Line’s alluring deck while experiencing Cuban steel drum performances and live music from 9PM to 1AM.

Where: The Rum Line

RSVP: none

Cost: cash bar


Sunday, Feb. 22

Billed as a “locals food fest” the Miami Beach International Foodies Festival will be contained in tents in North Beach and feature chef demos, a kids play zone, live music and motorcycle and hot rod displays. 

Where: 72nd Street and Collins Avenue (on the beach)

RSVP: tickets here.

Cost: $40/person.